Thursday, March 31, 2016

Book Review: Rayne Hall "Writing Deep Point of View"

"Writing Deep Point Of View: 

Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors" 

by Rayne Hall


Writing in deep POV may sound easy and natural. After all this is what we – as beings – experience every day, don’t way? Right. And wrong at the same time. As writers we may THINK we apply that one person filter that we do on a daily basis in our personal life, alas the secret voices of imagination whispering our brains throw in the more than occasional rock. It hadn’t occurred to me how far I could stray from the truth until observant test-readers asked to put in a “he thought” and “he realized” here and there. 
Now that was exactly how I did not want to write and 
did this person not understand 
I wrote in “deep POV” and therefore did not need those distancers?
It was no coincidence that when I became aware of Rayne Hall’s “writerly advice series” this book was the first I immersed myself in and – wouldn’t you know – 
she enlightened me in a way no kind critter could have done. 
By not only addressing all aspects of writing in deep POV, 
but pointing at common traps she spelled out where 
“I” erred – and not my readers ;)
While the book also covers the varieties of POVs in general to get the feeling, the focus is on deep POV in 1st, 2nd and 3rd – with the latter my preferred one and therefore I skipped over most other examples. But those examples and the assignments at the end of each chapter offer the chance to really see what is going on and understand what is needed to make deep POV work. I would have liked a bit more on character thoughts as this was what I had been looking forward to the most. In retrospective I struggled more with character descriptions and the biggest AHA moments I had with “similes for backstory” – 
even though other places I’ve been told to avoid...
While Rayne Hall suggests this book is not for the beginning writer – and I agree in parts because of terminology and because a level of experience is expected even in examples – 
I would still recommend it for them: 
what better then to start “deep” and never have to wonder?
Deep POV done right as explained in detailed steps by Rayne Hall gives you the tools to truly connect to your reader – or even better: the reader to your POV character. And with that the chance is there to submerge a reader into your story – and keep him rooted. 
And which books do we remember best? Those we lost ourselves in. 
So, grab the chance and find out how to pass on this experience 
to truly become part of the story – for however long it lasts!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

He has risen indeed!

When the women and disciples looked up and about 
they didn't look for chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs... 
But when you find one, give thanks for what it symbolizes: 
Life is stronger than death. 
Love is stronger than hate. 
And one CAN make a difference...
Wishing you all a very HAPPY & JOYFUL EASTER!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Ode of joy...

This should be played more often.
Answer terror by not being cowed
and embracing life and the beauty surrounding us!
#prayforBrusseles #smileisgood4you

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Writing: Sewing a gown or painting a picture?

I love this post - and image - by ProWritingAid 
Guest Blogger Wynsum Wise about

Are You a Couture Writer? Or a Word Spewer?

They had asked us about future themes for blog entries and her complain that everything writerly appeared so focused on production instead of creating led to her image of creating a couture gown for the reader. It is unusual - and fitting.
For me alas it's more like painting a picture - that can be one dimensional or three dimensional. Remember "Mary Poppins"? Where Dick jumps into the picture and they become part of his painted world? That's my goal in writing! That the reader eventual is sucked into the picture created by my words, that it becomes reality for the time reading. But whether it is a gown fitted to the reader or a picture-frame - as long as it fits snugly so they never fall "out" we have done something right! 

Here's the post:

Enjoy the Process: A Lesson from Learning Couture

You’re a writer, right? Me too! Fairy tales and happy endings were my escape from a nasty childhood. I also love to sew because, once upon a time, I was too small to find adult clothing in my size. I’m going to tell you about a lesson I learned from learning to sew couture.
For those who are not fashionistas, couture is custom clothes making. The term implies high-quality. Haute Couture is the top-rung of couture. Think Chanel and Christian Dior.

Are you a couture writer? Or a Word Spewer?First, let’s talk about writing a little.

Words, words, words. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is all about words. Good words, trash words, words, words, words! The goal is a certain number of words by the end of the time period.
In the beginning, I bought into this hype. Get those words out and worry about cleaning and polishing later. The underlying message is that putting words to paper is daunting, something a writer is forced to do. I personally found word-spewing to be a chore.

Let’s go back to sewing.

I define sewing as the cutting and binding of fabrics with thread to create items.
Tailored jackets are my thing. Sewing one can be time-consuming and difficult because of the complexity in putting together the many parts. I used modern sewing techniques, which in essence are cutting from a pattern, pinning edges together, and running the edges through a machine.
When I made a jacket, I rushed through because my goal was to have a finished jacket. I didn’t enjoy cutting, pinning, and stitching because my mind was on finishing the jacket. Isn’t that what a goal-oriented person does --- shoot for the goal?
To ramp up my skills, I bought a book on couture. (Couture Sewing Techniques by Clair B. Shaeffer) Couture was the traditional way of sewing until the sewing machine was invented. It emphasizes hand stitching and attention to teeny details. To sew couture, you must not be in a hurry.

Back to writing --- what is writing? Words? A story?

No. It’s a process. Words make phrases, and phrases are stitched together to make what I term a “narrative package.” A “narrative package” encompasses fiction, non-fiction, poetry, reports, etc.
Words are the raw fabric: weave, knit, or bonded leather. We cut and combine words into phrases, and the phrases are the pieces that you stitch to reach your goal of the narrative package.
Techniques writers use may be classified into three broad categories:
If you don’t know or understand writing techniques, you can learn them.
Here’s what you bring as a writer, a sewer of phrases, that cannot be taught.
  • experience
  • perseverance
  • ability to acquire new knowledge
  • creativity
I diagrammed the process below. As a writer, the most fun should be in the white bubble.
The couture writing process

“OMG,” you say. “Wynsum, you are doing a Socrates and over-analyzing something I already know.”Yeah, I’m a pain that way. But the exciting part comes in looking at the process in a different way.
You can pin and stitch your narrative package together, or you can slow down and stitch couture. I’m not saying everyone must abandon word-spewing. Some need the motivation, and that’s okay. Many writers, however, could benefit from slowing down, moving away from only focusing on your goal, and living more in the process. In this way, you give yourself the space and time to learn, improve, experiment, and grow. Your quality will improve. You will make time to write because you will not treat writing as a chore. You may even reach the end goal more quickly.
I really enjoy these parts of writing:
  • understanding techniques of the past and allowing my character to express her/himself through historical ways of doing things,
  • searching for the perfect word or phrase in English and other languages,
  • experimenting with punctuation and literary devices such as alliteration and rhyme,
  • discovering symbolism my unconscious mind creates and developing the symbolism, and
  • investigating how other cultures viewed themselves and were viewed by others, thereby enriching and improving the accuracy of my storyworld
I challenge you to be a couture writer and enjoy the process.
What do you enjoy about your writing process?
How can you have more fun in the process?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Beta Reader needed!

As in unbiased but honest -
I want to improve my WIP not get cuddled.
(Well cuddled to but separately!)

Please let me know if you feel up to it!
Any help appreciated!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Most writers don't "grow up"!

 A little while ago a writerly friend "complained" on her blog that
some (grown up) people suffer from what she calls a 
never-stopped-being-a-child syndrome.
Now I confess that for all those serious, successful and perfect adults someone who gives in all the things they deny themselves for the sake of being "adult" must be utterly annoying. 
They remind them of what they can't have.
Oh they'll be quick to tell you, that they wouldn't WANT to be that way. They wouldn't want to be caught dead imagining.Well usually what bugs us most is something we want.
Reverse psychology.
Something a grown-up inner child merging on inner teenager shouldn't know.
I even say it out loud.
Especially when I am told to grow up at last!
All my life I tried to follow this "grow up"! 
Trying to fit into drawer and being the way I was expected 
was actually very damaging and in the end brought me down. 
A child once told me most adults are just children behind bars. 
Another called those "real adults" buttoned up people. 
I found both extremely accurate. 
Locked away - from the magic, the fun, the pure joy of living. 
Nowadays I acknowledge that I am the SAME person I was when I was little. My body aged somewhat, but the inside stayed the same. "We" have more experience and yes in certain situations we acknowledge that we should follow certain rules, but in others I won't and I don't give a button if I'm called crazy. I'm not bad at playing adult, but no way I will become what others see in it! I will talk to cats, birds, my characters on the sofa and even my Grandmother and her new friends wherever she is now. I will stop in the middle of the sidewalk to rescue a bug, snail or admire a flower breaking through. And I will laugh when I feel like it. 
As a writer I can be as crazy as I want. 
As a person I choose to be as much child as I feel I need. 
My inner teen demands it. Now.
"So perhaps as long as the energy of your childhood is channeled in a suitable way, then never growing up could only be good for us."
Yes, Anna, it is.
I don't suffer from never-stopped-being-a-child syndrome,
but I really did when I tried to change it.
I'm not good at adult. Thank you Peter Pan.